Accra launches 1st Road Safety Strategy

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) and SSATP African Transport Policy Program has launched its first ever Road Safety Strategy as parts of efforts to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries in the city.

The Road Safety Strategy is said to spans from year 2018 to 2030.

The Mayor of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah addressing the gathering at launched which took place in Accra on Tuesday said, the assembly recognizes that road crashes remains one of the major causes of deaths and serious injuries around the world, hence the efforts put in place by AMA-BIGRS in making the city’s roads safe.

According to him, the strategy hopes to reduce road  fatalities in the city to less than 125 per annum, achieve less than 6 fatalities per 100,000 population, reduce serious injuries to less than 375  per annum as well as  minimize  pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries to  less than 350 per annum.

The Accra of Mayor noted that some critical issues identified in the strategy includes  governance and ownership of road safety, legal framework for road safety, design and function of roads, land use, planning, and priorities, non-compliance with traffic rules by motorcyclists, driver testing, licensing and behaviour of private and commercial drivers, as well as post-crash emergency response and care.

He assured that his outfit is determined to see the strategy through, and is putting governance arrangements in place to support its agenda adding that the strategy has come to complement the massive drive by the AMA to reduce road fatalities and injuries.

“We will see to the establishment of an Accra Road Safety Council which will be chaired by me. It will be backed up by a management group and a professional secretariat. An Annual Road Safety Plan will also be prepared identifying the road safety commitments of constituent agencies, and we will publish an Annual Road Safety Report. The AMA shall further commission a road safety investment plan that identifies the need within the city,” he announced.

“Our four key risk factors   include driving without seatbelts, drink-driving, speeding, not wearing   helmets.”  Mr  Adjei Sowah hinted.

The Mayor affirmed his outfit’s unflinching commitment to the safety of city dwellers and called on all institutions and citizens to collaborate with the Assembly to deal with carnage on our roads.

“Consider what you, your school, your workplace and your community can do to help the relevant stakeholders in tackling this crisis.  We must all contribute if we are to reach our goal of a safe Accra,” he said.

On his part the lead consultant for SSATP, Mr. Martins Small, indicated that road safety challenges were a trauma around the world with a problem of pedestrian safety, hence the vision of the strategy to make Accra a safe city, free from road traffic deaths and serious injuries.

The AMA-BIGRS Initiative Coordinator, Mr. Osei Kufuor also revealed that the initiative which started around 2015 has yielded positive results but was quick to add that there is more room for improvement to reduce fatalities and injuries

“Through this initiative, we have been able to construct 400 meters of pedestrian walkways, recovered 34km of pedestrian sidewalks, built 11 speed humps at selected locations and marked 20 new pedestrian crossings across the city of Accra. The AMA-BIGRS collaboration had help built the capacity of 90 road safety practitioners on the International Road Assessment Program  (iRAP), 333 police and metro guards, 40 journalists, 6 city staff graduates and had set up a data unit in the AMA to effectively inform decisions,” he said .

Mrs. Tawia Addo-Ashong, lead consultant for the World Bank and Alhaji Iddrisu Fuseini, Deputy Director, Vehicle Inspection and Registration at DVLA, on their part expressed their commitment to work towards the realization of the strategy.

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklin.asare-donkor@todaygh.com

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